Julia Harrington

Julia Harrington

Headmistress, Queen Anne's School
Biography

Julia Harrington is Headmistress of Queen Anne’s School in Berkshire, an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 – 18. An Exeter University graduate in History and Government and Politics, Julia’s first job was at the Independent Television Companies Association. Following the birth of her three children, Julia trained as a history teacher. She joined Prior’s Field School in 1996 and was appointed Deputy Head in 2003. Julia joined Queen Anne’s School as Headmistress in 2006. Julia, who has also trained as a psychodynamic counsellor, has always been interested in neuroscience. In 2013, she established BrainCanDo (BCD), an educational neuroscience programme which she introduced into Queen Anne’s School. She believed that the knowledge gained from research into how the brain learns, and its potential - as well as its vulnerability - during adolescence, should be fed into the education system and translated into programmes for schools, using neuroscience, psychology and motivational skills. Working with academics at the Universities of Reading and Goldsmiths (University of London), BrainCanDo has undertaken research into a number of areas including emotional contagion; the effect of music on sporting and academic performance; the value of self-affirmation; how to deal with anxiety and stress, especially in preparing for exams; how memory works; sleep and bio-rhythms, and has developed resources for teachers to develop their own expertise and bring evidence-based teaching practice into the classroom. Queen Anne’s School is part of the United Westminster and Grey Coat Foundation, which includes four other schools (independent and state).